Missy and I had nothing better to do with our time yesterday so we got up early and headed south to Eminence to the quarry. It was a bit froggy when we took off west and shortly I found out, the fog was heavy up on the hills and almost non existent in the valleys, which is usually the opposite of normal. I had received a call from a good friend down there the evening before and he told me that the blast pile was completely removed and the walls of that coved blast area now exposed, so I figured it would be a good time to drive down and check it out.
I had to fill up the gas tank and should have done so before I left town, cause by the time I got to Cuba, I discovered gas there was fourteen cents a gallon higher at the Mobil Station and so I drove on south on 19 to check the Casey`s Store, where I normally purchase it, and in the fog, thought the sign read 3.67, thinking it was two cents a gallon cheaper, but then as I got on top of it, realized no, it`s not 3.67….holie cow, it`s 3.87 a gallon….wow…so I turned around and drove back to Mobil…not my favorite place to fuel up…and filled the tank. Then we continued south…as we drove thru Steelville, I wish I would have slowed to take a photo on Main Street….Casey`s Store on the right at 3.87 a gallon and the Phillips 55 on the left at 3.74 a gallon…gee, I wonder how many people are filling up at Casey`s…didnt see anyone at their pumps going down or coming back later that day….have they lost their minds ????
It stayed foggy the whole way down there, and when we got to TT and 72, I turned east on 72 and stayed on it til we got to 21, where I turned south….mainly because 21 is a very good road and you can drive 60 mph on it, where B is quite rougher and a bit curvy in places. When I got to Ellington and turned west on 106, I discovered gas there was 3.60 a gallon, so I figured I knew where I was gonna fill up at before heading home. We drove on over to the quarry and pulled in, I drove down past the old hunting area and over to the new coved section of the wall, and sure enough, the blast pile was all gone except for a few boulders and the walls looked untouched….
…it was still a little foggy as you can see above…but as long as I could see the walls, I was okay…got my boots on fast and grabbed my tools and a bag of wrapping cloths and was soon looking for crystals that had rolled down the piles from the walls to figure out the location of pockets…here are the walls up closer from right to left….
…you can see in the wall photos that they look vuggy and believe me, they were…..within a few minutes I had located three nice crystals and a medium sized cluster of crystals…
…including this beautiful dark gray, almost black, poker chip crystal in matrix….
My buddy Jim came by a few minutes later, just as I was starting to locate pockets, he and his girlfriend had been up in Eminence and he told me that by the evening, Hwy 19, which is also their Main Street, would be closed to traffic, for a street dance this weekend. I assured him I would not be going into town and told him I would be headed to Ellington to fill my gas tank before heading home…when I told him the price of gas there, they exchanged glances and said the price in Ellington was far more favorable than the price in Eminence…3.94 a gallon in Eminence and he thought he would drive over to Ellington just to fill his truck tank too, at that price. We chatted a bit more and then they took off to get their day started and I set about looking for crystals. By this time, the fog was beginning to lift a bit….
….and soon after when it lifted completely, I was so deep in crystals that I didnt even notice it. I found the first set of pockets straight back in the middle of the back wall, at the top of the falldown material, and began burrowing into the wall at that spot……
….where you see the bags above, and soon the first few crystals I removed from that spot were clusters of black dogtooth poker chips….
….the first five I pulled out in fact…here are a couple of them….
….and the next thing I knew, the pocket branched off to the right and left into two other pockets, one mixed with dolomite druse as is often the case there….
…and here are more of the crystals from those other two pockets….
…but you wont hear me complaining cause I personally like the poker chips surrounded and imbedded in the dolomite druse, cause it looks like marcasite or pyrite instead of druse, in the sunlight, by the way it sparkles alot…occasionally I see some of that mixed into the druse too. I filled five bags completely full with the crystals from these three pockets, and then stood up to take a break, and stretch my legs and walk around a bit…Missy had finished her rounds and was laying in the shade under the tailgate of my truck by then…I walked over and got a bottle of water and took a long drink and then grabbed another bag and decided to walk the wall and see if I could locate any other crystals loose or in pockets. It didn`t take long to find some out in plain site along the wall and I was able to remove quite a few nice ones…I wrapped those up and then started to return to the first set of pockets. I was climbing back up the pile to retrieve my mini mattox, and off to the left side about twenty feet from the original pockets, when I noticed some loose poker chips in the pile…I reached down to pick them up and all of a sudden, more appeared underneath in the rubble, so I began digging down and soon after, discovered a pocket down deeper in the pile….
…that had apparently fell off the top somewhere months back and was buried all this time intact….I pulled several nice crystals out of this pocket…they were intact and in good health, protected because the rocks surrounding the crystals came down completely intact as well. I decided to stop and work this pocket and then finish up the original pocket afterwards…it took me well over an hour to empty this pocket, pulling out several nice clusters and crystals embedded in a sea of dolomite druse, some of it a bright yellow color….
…as you can see, they were tightly packed in there, and pulling them out was no easy task, cause there was a huge pile of sand and small rocks up on top that kept on sliding down occasionally…like whenever I pulled a crystal out of the pocket….
…after about the fourth slide of rocks and sand, I triggered a large slide and got it all out of the way, and then began digging down into the pocket once again, this time without all the hangover stuff to worry about….
…and here you can see I havent gotten to the point of triggering the final slide yet, cause it`s still raining down below a bit….but I`m getting close to the back of the pocket and the only thing left are some druse attached pieces to pull out….
…and here are a few of the crystals I pulled from this pocket found in the pile….
…including this nice large double poker chip crystal….
as well as this smaller dogtooth with slight damage to it….
…and here is another beautiful brown dogtooth double that I pulled out of the first pocket found….
After finishing up cleaning out the original three pockets, I moved along the wall to the right, and found a few more crystals in some smaller pockets, and then discovered a pocket full of druse…since they sometimes contain poker chips too, I checked it out and discovered they were either plates and chunks of bubbled black colored druse, or druse with hematite balls all over them. I`m still not quite sure, but maybe after I clean them up I will have a better idea…at any rate, I filled two bags full from this one pocket and had two large ones that didnt fit in the bag. We headed home soon after that, very tired and very satisfied. I`ll get some more photos on here as soon as I finish the cleaning work.
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